Lemon Butter Tart

recipe courtesy of Mary Kay Korn
Mary Kay is the mother of my daughter Alycia’s friend and kindly shared her recipe when Alycia fell in love with these tarts.

Shortbread Crust

3/4 lb butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Cream butter & pwd sugar.  Add vanilla and blend.
  2. Sift flour, butter and sugar, add to butter mixture.  Stir to combine.
  3. Cover dough in wax paper, chill 4-6 hours.
  4. Press into tart pan.  Bake at 325 until golden brown – about 27-30 minutes in a silicone pan.
Lemon Butter Filling

finely grated zest of 7 lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
9 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp, cut into 6 pieces
powdered sugar

  1. In a food processor, combine lemon zest with 1/4 cup sugar.  Mix for several minutes, until fine and moist.
  2. Combine eggs, remaining sugar and zest mixture in a medium bowl.  Whisk until well blended, then stir in lemon juice.
  3. Cook in a double boiler, stirring frequently until mixture thickens to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Stir in butter one piece at a time, mixing until melted and smooth.
  5. Immediately pour into tart shell and set aside.  Filling will set as it cools.
  6. Cool completely before serving.
  7. Just before serving, dust the edges of the tart with pwd sugar.
  • Makes two 9″ Tarts, 1 1/2″ deep. You can also make individual tarts.
  • The amount of juice needed is about what you’d get from 7 lemons…convenient.

Pie Crust

adapted from my mother’s & grandmother’s recipes – my mother said 1:3 ratio of shortening to flour,
my grandmother said 1:2 – I prefer halfway between, this makes a crust that is flaky, but not too delicate

6 cups flour
2 1/2  cups shortening
1 tsp salt
cold water


  1. Cut flour & salt into shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse corn meal.
  2. Add water to make an easily handleable, pliable dough.  If you add too little, it will be crumbly & will not hold together when you pick it up after rolling it out.  Start with 1/4 cup & add the water a few tablespoons at a time – it is hard to add too much.
  3. Divide into 4 pieces & roll out on a floured cloth – if it cracks a lot while doing this, put it back in the bowl & add more water.
  4. Fold in half & lift into pie pan. If it cracks while doing this, add more water before rolling the next crust.
  5. Makes 4 – 10″ crusts.
  • You can also use a food processor to mix the dough, pulsing to cut in shortening and when adding water. Do not overprocess – you may need to add more water after removing from the processor.
  • Unbaked pie dough can be frozen for up to 6 months.  Seal the dough balls in zipper bags or vacuum sealer bags.  You may need to add more water before using – freezing changes the consistency a little bit. 

Mocha Silk Pie

adapted from The Pioneer Woman | Ree Drummond

My daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner, found this recipe for us & my daughter, Alycia Davis has modified it slightly.


1 cup pecans, toasted & finely chopped
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 oz semisweet chocolate, grated
2 Tbsp Kahlua


1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 Tbsp Kahlua
3 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs


  1. Crust: combine pecans, brown sugar, and chocolate. Stir with a fork, then drizzle in Kahlua, stirring until combined. Press mixture into a pie pan, bringing it up the sides a bit. Do not bake. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
  2. In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until stirable (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, instant coffee, and Kahlua until fluffy, about 1 ½ minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed. Add vanilla. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.
  4. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 5 minutes after each egg.The sugar should be completely dissolved – no granules left.
  5. Pour filling into the pie crust.
  6. Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer).
  7. Serve with whipped cream and more grated chocolate.
For a nuttier flavor, we decided to toast the pecans. For a stronger mocha flavor, we increased the instant coffee granules (and changed to espresso powder) and Kahlua in the filling.